Thursday, 20 November 2014

School Produces Scurrilous Survey

The SLT have issued a survey to all students through the new email system, asking what students think about their school. Surely this must be the dawn of an age of the school holding student opinion in high regard? Well, apart from the obvious reservation that we have, that most of the school's signs of respecting student opinions tend to be false and ignored, the survey has, according to the GCSE Maths syllabus, various flaws that make it biased and untrustworthy (which sounds nothing like the Management).

So, as well as there being a caption competition in there somewhere, let's have a closer look at the survey:

1. No chance 2. Disagree 3. Disagree 4. Depends.
Now, there is a distinct problem with a simple agree/disagree choice question, in that there are certain limiting factors, especially in statements that are large concepts. For instance, number 2: "all students are treated with respect by staff members". Now, by agreeing with the statement, you are saying that all students are treated equally, so de facto if you disagree with the statement you are saying no students are treated equally. But what if you believe that some are, and some aren't? Or you believe that the majority are, but some aren't? There's no option for those so, pushed for an answer, someone that holds one of those beliefs would tend to agree with the statement, creating a bias in the question. This leads on further:

If you look at all the questions, they are all biased in favour of the school. There is an option that you can disagree with these biased questions but, as we have already discovered, the options are limited to a binary state, which is counter-intuitive if the school wanted accurate results. For instance, number 5: "Hampstead school provides me with a challenging curriculum and learning experiences." Ignoring the fact that 'school' is a proper noun and so should have a capital, the statement is biased in favour of the school (as are all but number 1); it doesn't read "Hampstead school doesn't provide me with a challenging curriculum and learning experiences." This is now biased against the school, rather than impartial, so what they ought to have done, as well as widening the boundaries of the answer, posed the survey as a series of questions, rather than biased statements. This, in the case of number 5, should be written:

5. Hampstead school does or does not provide a challenging curriculum and learning experiences?
- Yes, it does.
- Mostly does
- Does/doesn't half of the time
- Sometimes does
- Never does

And even then, it could be argued that the question is actually asking two things, one about curriculum, and the other about learning experiences, which a student may have differing views on between the two, which means the question should probably be split.

Regardless of the bias of the survey, purely the type of statement goes to show how delusional they are, how great they think they have made themselves. At no point do they ask, as we have been asking for ages, about the bad things. No, no, those are too busy being brushed under a heavy carpet.

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